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April 13 | Acts 4:31-37


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


This Changes Everything

by Mary Alice McGinnis


Nearly two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter. Jesus had been crucified on Good Friday, and on Sunday morning, He was raised from the dead!


My question is, how does embracing this fact impact my life? Does it change anything about how I live and what is important to me?


On Easter Sunday, Pastor Steve shared with us a scripture from Hebrews 2:14-15.

“He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of Him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”


These thoughts came to mind as I reflect upon today’s passage. If you go back to Acts 3, you will find that Peter and John had healed a lame man. This infuriated the Jewish leaders.

Acts 4:2, says, “They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.”


Peter and John were subsequently put into prison, interrogated, and threatened to STOP speaking about Jesus and His resurrection. Upon their release, they returned to their community of believers. They reported to them all that had taken place. So together, with one heart and mind, they turned their hearts like a singular voice to prayer, calling on the Sovereign power of the Almighty.


Here is part of their prayer, “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:28-29)


This is the prayer that precedes the beginning of today’s passage: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”


The whole place where they were was shaken! Just like when the earth shook on Easter morning, and it was reported that dead people were breaking free from their tombs and walking out ALIVE. 


Peter, John and all the rest of these followers had a new vision. Empowered by the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all . . .”


Over and over again, the Jesus resurrection power poured out through the Holy Spirit living believers caused them to live differently.


What once gripped them with fear, now emboldened them. No need to self-protect. They had the Sovereign Lord protecting them. No need to grasp for self-interest and things that would fade away. They had an Everlasting Invincible God who would provide. What once they held on to tightly, they willingly used to spread God’s Kingdom.


NOW, nothing else mattered as much as PROCLAIMING the RESURRECTION OF LORD JESUS CHRIST.


What about you and me? What difference does knowing we have the Spirit of the RISEN Jesus Christ living in us make? How will it embolden me to FREEDOM from the fear of death? How will I live differently?


PRAYER

God, this world is not my home. Help me to be present in my interactions with others, while still yearning for heaven. Show me how to balance the temporal and eternal. I trust that Your kingdom is coming soon. Fill us afresh with Your Holy Spirit. Unleash us from our fear!

Being confident in Your resurrection power, fill us so full of Your abundant grace that is overflows powerfully in tangible ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Apr 13

Good afternoon, Mary Alice. Don't you love the Romans 8:11 passage. We have so much evidence of the Resurrection and future hope of glory. The same Epistle says that the Holy Spirit will testify with our spirit that we are children of God and heirs of eternal life. HALLELUJAH!! We are all going to live together forever. Say what? LOL. We won the lottery and did not even know we bought a ticket.

You are right to challenge us in our witness to so great a salvation and the operative word for me to ponder is BOLD.

Once again, thank you and all the team of writers for these wonderful daily blogs. Such a blessing!!

ROBIN LORMS


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